Two more top ten finishes for Team NetApp in the Tour of Britain
The penultimate stage of the Tour of Britain over 173 kilometres from Barnstaple to Dartmouth was won by the Spaniard Pablo Perez Urtasun (Euskatel-Euskadi) during the sprint by the breakaway group. Second place went to Marc De Maar (UnitedHealthcare) ahead of Ivan Basso (Liquigas). NetApp’s Leo Koenig tried to catch up with the breakaways with a risky descent three kilometres before the finish and managed to take 5th place. Bartosz Huzarski sprinted to 9th place.
The overall ranking is still led by Jonathan Tiernan-Locke (Endura Racing). Nathan Haas (Garmin-Sharp) was in second place followed by Damiano Caruso (Liquigas). NetApp’s Bartosz Huzarski improved his ranking, up two spots to 6th place.
Five riders used the first mountain classification to break away from the bunch. Other riders were able to close in on the following kilometres, including Team NetApp’s Jan Barta. The lead of the strong 10-man lead group increased rapidly to more than four minutes. Team NetApp and Team Endura both immediately took up the chase to close the gap with the leaders. The lead group fell apart on the last 10 kilometres of the very hilly and technically demanding course, as did the bunch. The attack by four riders from the lead group was rewarded. They managed to reach the finish with a few seconds’ lead.
“Everything actually went according to plan. We concentrated on Leo again today, so that Jan could save his strength in the breakaway group. Since the lead group had so many strong riders, we intensified the speed very early on. It was very close at the end, and it was unfortunately not enough to catch the breakaway riders. This was nevertheless quite a successful stage for us. A very good and strong team performance with two top ten finishes,” said Enrico Poitschke of the result.
Tomorrow's final stage of the Tour of Britain starts in Reigate, south of London, and ends after approximately 148 kilometres in Guildford. The somewhat flatter course means there will probably be a sprint; however the final first-category mountain classification 40 kilometres before the finish may weed out the bunch yet again.